The Nature of Consciousness

Piero Scaruffi

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These are excerpts and elaborations from my book "The Nature of Consciousness"

Adaptive Grammar

The US linguist Donald Loritz argued that rhythm is the "central organizing mechanism" of language. He shows that the sequence in which a child learns both phonology and morphology is based on the development of rhythms. Loritz shows that this phenomenon has a neural basis.

Loritz notes that children learn to walk before they learn to talk. Their learning of talking improves exponentially after they have learned to walk. He argues that walking introduces a "rhythmic dipole" into the child's brain, which has the effect of organizing the child's sounds: "babbling gets rhythm and becomes speech".

Rejecting Chomsky's generative grammar, Loritz wants to found "adaptive grammar", which is built around the "topic". Neurally speaking, the topic is the most active resonance. Loritz claims that discourse and sentences are built around the topic: "Syntax is ordered by topicality". This is also how grammar is grounded into reality: it is built around reality, a reality that is active in the brain in the form of a resonance.

Loritz argues that this phenomenon may recapitulate how language originated in the first place.


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